Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Yesterday I went through Jack's IEP (Individualized Education Program) thoroughly and WOW, Jack has come so far in less than a year! At his eval his language consisted of 2-3 word utterances, scripting, and some lingering jargon. He wasn't asking questions unless it was something like "more juice?" and he wasn't answering questions at all. Today he's still behind his peers but he can converse, ask and answer questions, has dropped jargon, only uses scripting in appropriate context, and is steadily making progress. I feel the need to whisper type but - the gap is closing! From what I can see it looks like he met all the benchmark objectives listed in his IEP but we never received a single progress report from the school district despite my requests. I told them Jack was ready for more support but the replies I got were that Jack was a smart boy and making great progress. Really? Yes, he is, but he could still benefit from more than 100 minutes of speech therapy per week and 30 minutes of OT per week. I asked for help in choosing a preschool because Jack doesn't qualify for theirs and they suggested one down the street from us (Discovery Isle) that would be a terrible fit for Jack - huge classroom sizes, onsite daycare, lots of hustle and bustle, and full time schedule only. Seems it's location was the only thing they considered. And the one we ended up choosing is even closer to us. Thanks San Diego Unified. This experience with you has been soooo super special.
Feeling somewhat abandoned by our district I've been working extra hard outside of it's support. I'm in the (very long) process of applying for more support through the San Diego Regional Center. I do feel that Jack is doing great with speech and language and that he's getting lots of OT type work in preschool (which is going great - he's really grooving in) but I think that Jack could definitely benefit from some social skills work and possibly some behavioral therapy. A behavior specialist will come into your home and examine your environment and how your child acts and reacts. Then they help you implement techniques tailored to your kiddo. Like supernanny style yo, and we don't have to be on tv. They could probably help with Jack's resistance to authority...he responds well to our conditions (unless he's really upset) and I think he'll do the same with preschool as he grows used to their consistency. Jack likes things to be "his idea" - this was something I mentioned in his IEP as a concern - and it's hard for me to determine if his level of non-compliance is in the typical range or not. Social skills therapy (in addition to the experience he's getting in preschool) would benefit Jack simply because it would help with his anxiety around lots of kids his age. He gravitates toward adults and babies and is great with Harvey but a room full of preschoolers makes him antsy. It's like anything else - practice makes perfect but sometimes you need an expert to show you the ropes before you try to climb them.
Yesterday I pulled out an alphabet puzzle that I put away months ago because we lost the letter "Y" and Jack couldn't handle it's absence. The incomplete puzzle was a complete disturbance to his environment. I saw it in the cupboard and thought "he doesn't let things like that bother him anymore" and sure enough, he noticed and mentioned it, but I told him "it's missing but that's okay, we can play with the other letters" and WE DID. Flexability is a thing of beauty.....one cannot truly appreciate it's splendor until they've experienced rigidity like we have. He and Harvey play together SO WELL these days - I LOVE IT! This morning they made a castle (Jack was the princess, he put one of those baby bath towels on his head) and a bridge out of couch cushions. I could hear them talking about their creation with pride and magic was seriously in the air. Watching them grow as brudders is my most favorite part of their development. That and poopin' in the potty (if I'm being honest).